So the United States Championship has officially been vacated. Last week on SmackDown Live Dolph Ziggler abandoned his newly won title in the middle of the ring without so much as an explanation as to what he was doing exactly or what was next for the US Title. This past Tuesday, SmackDown Live's General manager, Daniel Bryan, went about clearing up that mess. It was the first thing addressed on the show, and Bryan revealed that in his eyes at least, the title had indeed been vacated. Therefore, he put together an eight-man tournament, the winner of which will be declared the new United States Champion. Who should the next champ be though? Here are five currently unappreciated Superstars that we believe deserve the red, white and blue crown.
5. Bobby Roode
We already know a couple of the Superstars who may be crowned the new United States Champion as they competed in and won their first-round matches on Tuesday night. One of those Superstars is Bobby Roode. The Glorious One really should have been crowned US Champion at Clash Of Champions when Ziggler won the belt. Clearly, that would have cut out a middleman that WWE feels like they needed though. Nevertheless, Roode has been included in the tournament and has progressed through to the final four. Winning the title would give him some much-needed recognition but something has us thinking that the man he defeated on Tuesday, Baron Corbin, won't let that happen.
One thing is for damn sure on SmackDown Live right now, and that is the fans love Rusev. On Raw this week Elias was drowned out by chants of CM Punk during the opening segment of the show, however, 24 hours later the WWE Universe was yelling Rusev Day as Daniel Bryan tried to get out what he needed to say. Every time The Bulgarian Brute is left with nothing much to do, he somehow finds a way to make sure the fans don't forget about him. This time he has managed to do that more effectively than ever. Right now, it seems as if WWE isn't keen to have the pairing of him and Aiden English move much further up the card than they already are. If that's the case, then have the stronger half of the team win the United States Title.
3. Dolph Ziggler
Despite Daniel Bryan tidying up the whole situation, a lot still remains up in the air. The GM opened by saying that he had been trying to contact Dolph Ziggler all week to clarify what happened, but had no luck. With that, he assumed The Showoff has relinquished the championship. In a bizarre WWE twist that might not be the case at all, Ziggler may return at some point during the tournament, maybe at the very end, and question what on earth is going on. If that does happen, what takes place next is anyone's guess. Maybe we could have a situation like we did with John Cena and CM Punk in 2011 when there were two WWE Champions.
PREVIOUSLY: CONFUSING PROMO LEADS TO POSSIBLY VACANT TITLE
2. Chad Gable
If a SmackDown Live tag team is going to be broken up, then Rusev and Aiden English probably won't be the first choice. Instead, Vince McMahon should cast his gaze over Benjamin and Gable. There seems to be an insistence on making the mismatched Superstars work as a tandem, but for a number of reasons, it just isn't taking. Once again, however, the two of them have a shot at The Usos' Tag Team Championships. Beyond that, WWE should really look at investing in Chad Gable as a singles star. Put him in the US Title tournament and shoot him straight to the moon by having him win the whole thing.
1. Jinder Mahal
The other man who has already booked his spot in the final four of the US Title tournament is Jinder Mahal. The Modern Day Maharajah defeated Tye Dillinger in his first-round match. Many wondered what was next for Mahal now he's done with the WWE Championship scene and it seems that this is it. The United States Championship should have been the belt that Mahal was going for all along. A jump to that level from enhancement talent status would have been more believable. Plus, his whole gimmick throughout 2017 has been that US fans hate him for his Indian heritage. What better way to stick it to the fans than to win a title whose holder represents their very nation?